Listen carefully - If you find yourself in Paris - make it a priority to get to the palace of Versailles. Contrary to misconceptions, the palace is not in Paris, it is in the city of Versailes - which is about a 40 minute drive from Paris ("the city"). You can also take the train from Paris to Versailles.
My afternoon at the palace was one of the memorable parts of my trip and I almost cancelled.
I scheduled a ride to the palace with a tour Company, but I had not planned on how I would get to the meet up spot. I arrived at my hotel an hour and half before the meet up and frantically rushed to make it, I got off at the right train stop but forgot my map of the city so I was completely lost . I am thankful for the cabbie - Mr. A who gave me a free ride to the meetup spot.
When I finally made it to the Palace - my tour guide did not show up. I was exhausted , hungry and not in the best of mood, but I was stuck there for another 3 hours until my ride back to the city returned, so I bought a ticket and explored the palace on my own. Forever grateful that exhaustion and hunger did not get the better of me and I went ahead with the tour.
You have the option of purchasing a ticket with a guided tour, but I like to go at my own pace - explore what really interests me and skip what doesn't - so I opted for touring the palace on my own.
From the interior of the palace - the pillars, the murels on the ceiling, the paintings and chandeliers - absolutely spectacular. Make sure you look up while in the palace, the chandeliers, the murels on the ceiling is worth the ticket price.
As breathtaking as it interior is - the grounds and garden were favorite part - the over the top sculptures and fountains (there are about 50 fountains on the grounds).
Once there, plan to spend several hours to get the full experience. I had just about 3 hours to explore so I rushed through everything. Take your time walking through the castle; then head out to the grounds (if you can, plan to include the musical gardens as part of your tour). Walk the gardens and enjoy the spectacular view and fountains.